Astrology software - questions and reviews
Which software do you currently use or recommend?
Personally I use various commercial astrology programs for different tasks, as I find each has strengths and weaknesses. The main program I use costs around $7000 so it's probably not worth recommending without also mentioning cheaper and more popular alternatives.
To this end I recently purchased a selection of more affordable astrology software programs (in the $50 to $1000 range) in preparation for some detailed reviews coming soon to this page, once my tests are complete. Watch this space!
How do I start learning astrology?The most intuitive way is often to obtain a copy of your own birth chart (either from an astrologer or from astrology software), and perhaps one of a friend or lover, throw away any notes which came with it, and investigate (via a good astrology textbook) what each symbol and placement means. If venus is in the 7th house it will have a specific meaning.
Doing this for your own chart or those of friends keeps things interesting, whereas reading 15 pages on the meaning of venus in the first, second, third etc house can be both overwhelming and slightly dry (though from a technical standpoint the patterns within the patterns will become more apparent via the later approach)
How long does it take to learn astrology?This really depends on the individual. If you don't mind using software for calculations, and referring to books for interpretations, or making the occasional mistake then you can do a fair job after only a few months of study. Obviously you're very reliant on the work and accuracy of others this route. Many of the cheaper astrology software packages can be highly inaccurate.
At the other extreme, professional astrologers often have decades of experience. The main difference between novice and amateur is the identification of the patterns within the patterns, which can be used to extrapolate from to ensure accuracy (as compared to a pure reliance on memory).
Why does astrology software sometimes contradict itself?
Nearly all astrology software lists the interpretation of planet placements and interactions. If Saturn is in the fourth has it has a standard meaning etc.
The problem arises when a different placement has a contradictory meaning. The short explanation for this is that humans are complex - it's not as straightforward as saying "you're a happy person!" - everyone has a little of every trait at different times, and to varying degrees.
The challenge is knowing how to weight and assimilate the different placements into the whole "you're generally happy, but *this* and *this* really make you sad". This is a task which (some) astrology software is getting better at, though as a rule it's noticably weaker than a human interpretation.
Visitor reviews - recommend astrology software (or not!)
If you've had a good or bad experience with an astrology software package please feel free to share it and I'll add it in with my own reviews. The box will scroll if you need more space, and please feel free to include your name if you choose.
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